Welcome to PACO!

At PACO, we work to promote the interests of paralegals, foster relationships with the legal community, serve the public, advocate the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and endorse the mission of PACO.
Upcoming Events...

October 22, 2019
PACO Board Meeting

View the full calendar 

Featured Resources:

Sustaining Members:

Click here to view all of PACO's Sustaining Members



Teresa Scharf for winning the NFPA's Individual Pro Bono Award! Teresa has led PACO’s Pro Bono Committee since 2009, and under her leadership, this Committee has reached out and served thousands of low-income individuals in Central Ohio through the PACO-Legal Aid Society of Columbus Pro Bono Wills Clinics program. The Wills Clinic program has enjoyed tremendous success and is always in demand. Because of the positive impact of this effort and the attention it has brought to serving low-income senior citizens throughout Central Ohio, several vendors and law firms have supported the Wills Clinic program in tangible ways over the years to assist in driving its success.

PACO for winning the NFPA's Paralegal Association Pro Bono Award! PACO’s Pro Bono Committee continues to be very active coordinating, volunteering, and assisting attorneys in providing legal services to hundreds of individuals across the greater Columbus and Central Ohio area. This Committee is effective on two primary formats: via Brief-Advice Legal Clinics and its flagship program, the Pro Bono Wills Clinic. For more information to get involved with the Pro Bono Committee, contact Teresa Scharf at: ProBonoColumbus@gmail.com.

Congratulations and great work Teresa and all PACO members who contribute to the Pro Bono Committee for the Central Ohio community!

NFPA 2019 Convention Recap

The newly elected board members are:

Vice President and Director of Profession Development
Theda Yandell, RP

Vice President and Director of Membership
Tom Stephenson, ILAP

Vice President and Director of Marketing
Ronell Badua

Treasurer and Director of Finance
Lori Wagner, RP, IRP

Region I Director - Brenda Cothary
Region II Director - Lisa Lynch, CRP, CEDS
Region III Director - Tracey Woolsey, RP
Region IV Director - Rebecca Reedy
Region V Director - Catherine Allard
Award and scholarship winners:

William R. Robie Award
Dardanel "Dardie" Robinson, Oregon Paralegal Association

Paralegal of the Year Award
Sheila White, Dallas Area Paralegal Association

Outstanding Local Leader Award
Brenna Dickey, RP, Oregon Paralegal Association

Association Pro Bono Award
Paralegal Association of Central Ohio

Individual Pro Bono Award
Teresa Scharf, Paralegal Association of Central Ohio

Justice Champion Award
Bonnie Brooks, Paralegal Association of Rochester

Certification Ambassador Award
Glenna Fugazzi, RP, Greater Lexington Paralegal Association

Thompson Reuters Scholarship Winner
Marilyn Wagner, Oregon Paralegal Association

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Paralegal Student Scholarship Winner
Brenda Buenrostro Peterson

PACO / LASC Pro Bono Wills Clinic CLE - November 13, 2019

Did you know that PACO’s Pro Bono Committee created a Wills Clinic program that is the only one like it in the country? In 2019, the Pro Bono Committee partnered with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus and conducted fourteen Wills Clinics and prepared documents for 121 senior citizens.

If you are interested in volunteering in 2020 on the Pro Bono Committee at the Wills Clinics, please register and attend the mandatory CLE for Wills Clinic volunteers. The CLE will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, from 1:30-4:45 p.m. at the offices of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, 1108 City Park Avenue, #100, Columbus, Ohio 43206.

There are all new speakers this year, including an emergency room physician who will discuss the Advance Directive documents from a physician’s perspective. If you have ever volunteered at a Wills Clinic, or if you commit to doing so at least one time in 2020, the $110.00 fee is waived. Register soon as space is limited! Click here for more information about the CLE.

If you have any questions, please contact PACO’s Pro Bono Chair, Teresa Scharf, at ProBonoColumbus@gmail.com.

PACO Membership Drive - A Haunting We Will Go!

Don’t keep PACO a secret! We’d like to meet your network, and we’ll reward you for the introduction!

Please join PACO’s Membership Committee in a spooktacular contest! Beginning October 7th through October 25th, PACO will be holding a “Refer-a-Friend” contest.

PACO offers regular, student, and sustaining membership options. Start reaching out to your non-member colleagues, employers, students and friends to spread the word about PACO’s countless benefits. Each member that “refers a friend” during the contest period will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card. The member that refers the most new members will receive a $50 gift card! But wait, there’s more! Each new member that applies to PACO during the contest period will also be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card!

The Halloweeners will be announced in the October31st email blast!

**The current PACO application does not have dedicated space for referral information. Please have each applicant write the referral information in any available white space on the application**

Please contact Shannon Reames, PACO’s Vice-President and Director of Membership at vp@pacoparalegals.org for any membership drive questions and to get involved with the membership committee.

PACO Happy Hour: Register to Attend!

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 4:30-6:30 p.m. and Join your fellow Central Ohio paralegals for a FREE evening that is bound to be a blast! Membership to PACO is not a requirement to attend so grab a paralegal colleague or friend and join in on the fun and connect with other paralegal professionals.

Click here to register.

When registering, as an ice breaker for mingling with others, enter your favorite college and/or pro football teams which will be added to your name tag at the happy hour to kick off conversations. Light appetizers will be provided by Gresso's Bar and Restaurant. PACO will award one lucky attendee a raffle prize and you must be present to win!

FREE Parking: There are 3 parking lots behind Gresso's which have 80 free parking spots, additionally there is a school parking lot on the left hand side of high street directly across from Gresso's which also has free Gresso's approved parking.

Student Liaison Committee - Connect with Columbus State Paralegal Students

The Career Services team at Columbus State is committed to working with PACO to help connect members with students and faculty. Through their experiential programming efforts, Columbus State students are given exposure to potential employers, careers, and professional development opportunities. Columbus State is eager to connect with PACO to aid in their efforts to support the career success of students in the Paralegal Studies program.

Click here for opportunities that PACO members can use for their own professional development and also to help Columbus State students through an Externship, Mentor, Host a Career Trek, Speak on a Panel or Professional Event. Professional readiness happens when students develop the skills, experiences, and relationships that prepare them not just to find a job but to build a life. Connect today with Columbus State Paralegal Students!

CBA Corner – Writers Needed

Contact brianna@cbalaw.org with your article ideas for the CBA's Legal Connections page in Columbus Business First.

YWCA Columbus - Donations Needed

Imagine not having a place to call home for your family. Now, imagine how tough that would be in the harsh months of winter.

The cooler months are fast-approaching and many of Columbus' homeless families will be without bare essentials. As you begin shopping for your own family this fall season, consider purchasing an extra coat or pair of socks for a homeless child, or donating your gently used coat to a homeless mother. The warmth of your generosity will be felt in the hearts of the families that stay with us this season.

Here is a list of urgently needed items for families at our Family Center:

  • Coats! (new, or gently used and freshly laundered, all sizes)
  • Diapers (size 5 & 6)
  • Pullups (all sizes)
  • Baby Wipes
  • Socks (new, all sizes)
  • Bottles
  • Sippy Cups

For donations larger than 3 medium-sized boxes, to schedule a tour at the time of your donation drop, or if you have any additional questions, please contact Krista Faist at 614-253-3910 ext. 3934 or kfaist@ywcacolumbus.org.

And as always, you can also click here to shop our Amazon wishlist for our most needed items.

If you have questions, feedback or would like more information about PACO, please contact any Board member at:

Becky Lewis – President (president@pacoparalegals.org)
Shannon Reames – Vice-President (vp@pacoparalegals.org)
Brittany Hays – Assistant Vice-President asstvicepres@pacoparalegals.org)
Angela Vohsing – Treasurer (treasurer@pacoparalegals.org)
Cassandra Struble – Secretary (secretary@pacoparalegals.org)

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